Sometimes the phrase “if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!” applies to a fishing trip – like this one:
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It began as most do, with intense consideration about what the weather might do at San Luis Reservoir. Some forecasts showed wind, others slow breezes. It was the only day my buddies could go.
We headed for Portuguese Cove in light wind. I told my friends we’d wait for the whitecaps out in the middle to subside and then we could go to some other areas.
The wind was cool, which concerned me, and the light clouds were lined up in a neat row from horizon to horizon – all sure signs of a frontal system. I needed to be on guard.
We fished in the cove for an hour and caught a few small fish but I could tell it was going to be a tough day. The fish didn’t like the change in the barometer any more than I did.
An hour later I could feel it warming and the waves were slowing down, so I decided to run toward the dam. But just as we got there we could see a squall line heading east across the water and right for us.
It went from a mild 5 mph breeze to a gusting 15-20 mph cold wind pushing rollers that were growing by the second. We headed back to the safety of the cove, but by the time we got there we were all soaked.
An hour later, the siren of smoother waves and lower winds called us out, only to get our butt kicked again. We repeated that failing effort four times.
It doesn’t end there. Trolling in the cove, I lost two downrigger balls.
About 3 p.m. we called it. Back at Basalt ramp, just as I drove on the trailer I saw my bottom left bunk floating in the crashing waves. Yikes! I was shoved on the trailer as I felt something scraping the bottom hull. Ouch!! I backed off as fast as I could. While tied to the dock, I was able to replace the missing bolt that connected my bunk and we finally got the boat out.
The scratch began on the port (left) side of my front lower hull and went well over 3 feet back. It was a nice little half-inch-deep furrow in the gelcoat that the exposed metal stanchion had dug out. At least there were no hull holes.
I should be relieved, right? Then I see a note on the windshield: “Your passenger window was down! I tried to call you!” Launching in the dark I had missed that. That’s when I found out someone had stolen my engine crutch out of the cab.
Time to limp home. We did get some fish – a pyrrhic victory!
Never give up!